Many of these articles have been published in the Mendocino Beacon’s Kelley House Calendar.
Introducing Wine Bricks!
While working on the history of Mendocino County, which I just finished writing, I was trying to establish if any wineries in this county tried producing what were called wine bricks or grape bricks. It does not seem so, but they were made in Sonoma and Napa counties and their story is fascinating. After 1920 Prohibition laws in the USA said you could not sell, produce or transport alcoholic beverages, but you could make 200 gallons of wine for[... see full page]
A dilapidated Kelley House when it was acquired in 1975. Collecting, preserving, protecting and sharing. This is the mission of the Kelley House Museum. Kelley House has been around long enough for three generations to have experienced it, enjoyed its history-themed events, or dug into its archives to research family stories and photos. Some have called it Mendocino’s most important cultural institution It all began with Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins, now gone, who had come to Mendocino in the late 1960s[... see full page]
Cattle Invade GarageThis odd headline appeared on the front page of the Oct 13, 1928 edition of the Mendocino Beacon. The story goes on to say, “A band of some 60 head of dairy cows being driven up the coast were going through Mendocino and when passing the S. & E. Garage, spied the big open doors, and evidently taking it for a barn, they rushed in, in a body. They crowded into the show room, back out in the[... see full page]
The View from the Shingle Mill
1920 topographic map showing the area of Siewers ranch on the south side of Mendocino Bay. Naming places is something people do to orient themselves and connect with their environment. In our homes, we have “Grandma’s chair” or the “back forty.” Moving outwards, our neighborhoods have local designations, too. These hyper-local labels often commemorate events, such as “Two-Buck Turn” on Little Lake Road east of Mendocino. It was given that peculiar name because Witherle Atwood, who was not an experienced deer[... see full page]
Talking With . . . Dave Sverko in 2000
Dave Sverko (seated) with middle school students Adam Channel, Sadie Pepper and Morgan Matthews in 2000. Back in 2000, students of Ryan Olson Day’s Options Class at the Mendocino Middle School created an oral history project with the help of Steve Jordan and a grant obtained by Deena Zarlin. They made audio recordings of their interviews with twelve “Old Timers” who told these children what it was like back in the day. Two decades later, the transcripts of these stories have[... see full page]
Cemeteries: Headstones convey messages
Photograph of the marble grave monument of Mary F. Freathy, located in Evergreen Cemetery. The stone has a bas relief of clasped hands at the top and is crowned by an arch of ivy leaves, supported by scrolled brackets. Down in the archives of the Kelley House, I was working on a research project tracing a local family’s name through graveyard records when I found something that answered questions I’d long had about the images on gravestones. The Victorians were engravers[... see full page]